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Former Alabama middle linebacker on Pete Golding: “He looks lost out there!”

Pete Golding coaching Alabama's defensive players during practice
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

Alabama fans have been disappointed with Pete Golding for over two years.

He was a co-defensive coordinator in 2018 but took over play-calling duties in 2019.

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Since then, Crimson Tide supporters have seen its defense allow 30+ points six times — including five games of 40+ points allowed.

Alabama surrendered 40+ points to LSU and Auburn in 2019, and it lost both games.

Despite wins over Mississippi and Florida in 2020, people were not happy seeing 40+ scored on the defense. Alabama suffered its first loss two weeks ago versus Texas A&M, and it gave up 41 points to the Aggies.

It is not normal to see schools such as Kentucky, Coastal Carolina, Purdue, Baylor, South Alabama, Colorado State, Oklahoma State, Troy, and UAB ahead of the Tide for scoring defense. Coastal Carolina, Iowa State, Colorado State, Houston, Army West Point, Liberty, North Carolina State, Purdue, South Alabama, and UTEP are in front of the Crimson Tide for total defense.

The #FirePeteGolding chants have been going since 2019, and one former Alabama middle linebacker put his thoughts on a shirt.

Marvin Constant, a Tuscaloosa native, played for the Crimson Tide from 1998-00. Before sustaining an injury, he was one of the most fearsome linebackers in the sport. Constant anchored a Tide defense in 1999 that was No. 2 in the nation. He has been frustrated with this group. On Monday, Constant said the upgrade at defensive coordinator is needed via In My Own Words.

*Marvin Constant talks about Pete Golding at the 27:04 mark

“People don’t understand what it takes for a defensive coordinator to be successful at this level,” Constant said. “They want a guy with high energy, a guy that is going to build relationships, he is going to know what makes you tick, and you don’t see that. Look at Kirby Smart, Jeremy Pruitt, and Will Muschamp on the sidelines. Those guys are full of energy, they are fired up, and they know how to motivate their guys. When you see Pete, he looks lost out there. I’m not trying to be funny, but he looks lost.”

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Constant said he wants Alabama to have someone that’s more in tune with the players.

“We need to have somebody that is more in tune with the game that can give the players what they need,” he said.

Alabama has been known for positioning several defensive players in the first round of the NFL Draft. When he looks at this defense, Constant does not see a first-rounder for 2022.

He has also targeted the performance of Golding for it.

“All of my friends are NFL scouts and coaches,” Constant said. “They have all said the same thing. When you turn on the film of these guys, it does not look good. These guys should be first-round draft picks, not third-round to free agents. You look at last year. Alabama had [Patrick] Surtain in the first round and [Christian] Barmore in the second round. Every other defensive player was a free agent. That is not Alabama. If the draft was tomorrow, you would be hard-pressed to have one player go in the first two rounds. One definitely would not go in the first round. So, I just want the standard to be back in place.”

Alabama has all the talent, but Constant feels like it has underperformed. Fans have voiced disappointment, and he has too. We will see what happens with Golding moving forward, but Alabama has not been stellar on defense in his tenure.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith. 

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